History of the Islamic World

Write a Reflection Paper on “Introduction” and “Chapter 1” – book: Restating Orientalism by Wael Hallaq.

In general, the reflection paper should be divided into three main parts: general summary of the chapters, relevance to the course, and general commentary on the topic  + why you chose the chapters for this reflection

For the general commentary on the topic, you can state your opinion, some additional information that you found elsewhere concerning that topic or any other remark on that topic.

Please write an interesting paragraph regarding the relevance to the class regarding Orientalism. Keep in mind this class is called “History of the Islamic World”.

For the relevance to the course part, link orientalism with topics that were discussed in class (in the schedule below).

Relevance to the course: we discussed European colonialism in (e.g. British colonial rule in Egypt). We also discussed “Women in the 19th and 20th century” – these topics may relate to “Orientalism”.

 The information below is taken from the syllabus, this may additionally help you for the “relevance to the course” part.

Course: History of the Islamic World

Course Description               

This course offers a comprehensive survey of the Islamic world from the rise of Islam in 7th century Arabia until the present. It traces Islam’s expansion across different geographical regions from its birth place in the Arabian Peninsula to Central and Southeast Asia and from Western Asia (Near or Middle East) along the North African Mediterranean coast into the Iberian Peninsula to sub-Saharan Africa. The course examines the religious institutions that facilitated the creation of a homogeneous Islamic character within the various cultures of these different regions. A central theme that the course explores in this survey is the interface between unity, as an ideal religious aspiration, and diversity, as reflected in the actual historical experience of Muslim communities. The course also traces the trajectory of main trends and orientations into the modern period including responses to major challenges such as Western colonization, secularization, emergence of the nation state, as well as different modes of Islamic regeneration ranging from traditionalist revivalism and reformation to extreme fundamentalism and militantism.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students should:

  • Gain basic understanding of the historical background of the Islamic world.
  • Appreciate the symbolic significance of Islam’s early formative period
  • Trace the rise and historical development of main Islamic dynasties across different regions.
  • Develop familiarity with important Islamic institutions as well as various aspects of the Islamic intellectual tradition.
  •  Identify boundaries of unity and diversity across various Islamic cultures and communities
  • Explore major challenges and transformations in modern Islamic history

Course Outline and Reading Assignments

Part I: Rise and Early Development

Week 1 (January 10 – 12)

  • 1st class: General Introduction: The pre-Islamic Arabian context
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Introduction and Chapter 1), pp. 7-21)
  • 2nd class:  Rise of Islam
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 2-4), pp. 22-45
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 1-30

Week 2 (January 17 – 19)

  • 1st  class: Early Islamic Dynasties
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 5-10), pp. 46-91
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 33-61
      • Quiz 1
  • 2nd class: imperial and urban milieus 
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 11-16), pp.  92-143
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 63-97

Week 3 (January 24 – 26)

  • 1st class: Social and cultural dimensions
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 17-19), pp. 144-174
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 99-129

Part II: Islamic Community and Islamic Society in the Near East

  • 2nd class: the Post Abbasid System
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapter 20), pp. 177-207
      • First written assignment due

Week 4 (January 31- February 2)

  • 1st class: Muslim Communities: 1000 – 1500 CE
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 21-22), pp. 208-236 
  • 2nd class: Normative Dimensions
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 23-24), pp. 237-265
      • Quiz 2

Week 5 (February 7- 9)

Part III: Global Expansion of Islam

  • 1st class: Conversion to Islam and the North African context until the 13th century
    •  Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 25-26), pp. 269-297
    • Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta. 1-12
  • 2nd class (Tuesday, February 9): No Classes (National Sports Day)

Week 6 (February 14- 16)

  • 1st class: Spanish Islamic Civilization and the North African context until the 19th century
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 27-29), pp. 298-328
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 205-245
      • Second written assignment due
  • 2nd class: Islam in Asia: the Turkish context
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 30-33), pp. 331-376
    • Kennedy, Caliphate, 247-265
      • Midterm outline due

Week 7 (February 21- 23):

  • 1st class: The Iranian and Indian contexts
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 34-36), pp. 377-417
  • 2nd class: Central and Southeastern contexts
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 37-38), pp. 418-446
      • Quiz 3

Week 8 (February 28 – March 2): Midterm break (no classes)

Week 9 (March 7 – 9):

  • 1st class: Islam in Africa and the West African contexts
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 39-41), pp. 447-476
  • 2nd class: East African and global contexts
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 42-44), pp. 477-507

Week 10 (March 14 – 16): Part IV: Modern Transformations

  • 1st class: Nationalism in the Middle East: Turkey and Iran
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 46-47), pp. 524-560
      • Midterm paper due
  • 2nd class: Egypt and the Arab East
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 48-49), pp. 561-607

Week 11 (March 21 – 23)

  • 1st class: the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 50-51), pp. 608-651
      • Quiz 4
  • 2nd class: Women in the Middle East
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapter 52), pp. 652-666

Week 12 (March 28 – 30)

  • 1st class: The Central Asian context
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapter 53), pp. 667-697
      • Third written assignment due
  • 2nd class:  Islam in the Indian subcontinent
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapter 54), pp. 698-728

Week 13 (April 4 – 6)

  • 1st class: No Class (Easter Sunday)
  • 2nd class: Islam in Southeast Asia
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapter 55), pp. 729-754

Week 14 (April 11 – 13)

  • 1st  class: the African context
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 56-58), pp. 755-801

Quiz 5

  • 2nd class: Islam in the West
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Chapters 59), pp. 802-825

Week 15 (April 18 – 20)

  • 1st class: Orientalism and its contestations
    • Hallaq, Restating Orientalism (Chapter 1), 27-64
  • 2nd class: Knowledge, Power, and Historiography
    • Hallaq, Restating Orientalism (Chapter 2), 65-112

Week 16 (April 25 -26)

  • 1st class: Revisiting Orientalism
    • Hallaq, Restating Orientalism (Chapter 5), 229-267
  • 2nd class: Conclusion and wrap up
    • Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Conclusion: Secularized Islam and Islamic Revival), pp. 826-857

Final Exam: TBD

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